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#1 Filip Plesha

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:04 PM

So what do you think about his movies?

I've always had a hart time trying to understand them.
Now there are all these violent and problematic characters doing all kinds of crazy stuff and there are many angles from which one can view it:

-simple revenge movies, fueled by audiences rage caused by on-screen events or toled stories.
-comedy in form of absurd violent behaviour
-critique of violence

now there are times in his movies when you get the impression that its either one of these three options, but that impression switches in different parts of movies.
For example, I watch Pulp fiction, and at first I think its a sort of an absurd comedy (and its kind of funny too), but then it gets sort of serious, and even disturbing, so I begin to wonder: its not funny any more, what is it?
Then at the end of the film there is a little moment where it almost seems like the director is putting some critique on such behaviour, and then when you look at some interviews it seems he is like a kid that gets exited making violent movies

So the impression kind of switches between these 3 things..

And then we get to Kill Bill which is even stranger. The man puts so much different things from all kinds of different places, mixes them all and puts them into this strange pair of movies.

If there is any director that I can't quite understand then its Quentin.
I actually enjoy some of his films, given enough time in between watching to foget some of the more disturbing scenes. But I really can't decipher the meaning behind it all, I can't penetrate his mind.

What's your opinion and understanding of this director and his movies?
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 10:58 PM

Tarantino is the distillation of everything 70's. He even recycles the stars of that era. The thing about Tarantino is that he pushes these element much further than they were allowed to be pushed at the time and he is for the most part just a much better filmmaker than those low budget, blackploitation, Spaggetti western and kung fu filmmakers of that era. Even if you look at Reservior Dogs, his first film, dispite being a low budget movie, it doesn't look like a low budget film. It's slick and masterfully done. His plots are engaging and much better written than his predecessors in this genra with possibly the exception of Gordon Park's Shaft and Segio Lenoe's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tarantino is just plain gifted as a writer and filmmaker although somewhat limited in his choice of subject matter up to this point. Spielberg to hold up as an example in conrtast, is also a gifted filmmaker but has proven his abillity to tackle a variety of subjects with equil brillance. The only place he seens to have failed is in straight comedy (1941). Tarantino has suceeded in every film he has made to date but his list of films is conciderible shorter than Spielberg's, one reason being he is conciderible younger the Steven. I don't know how well he'll fare once he moves out of this stage of his filmmking but my guess is he'll have a flop or two because people won't accept a Tarantino movie that doesn't have violence, but then do something brillant and completely unexpected that will change people's perception of him.

Then again he may do what Hitchcock and Cassevetes did and stay in this genra thuoghout his career. When Hitch ventured away from suspence into comedy with Family Plot and the aventguard with Marney it was not well recieved. Cassevetes made the same type of movie his entire cereer and is still concidered one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived. Tarantino may have found his niech and there's nothing wrong with that. His films are about greed, lust, crualty, violence, love, loyalty, friendship, adventure, the consiquences of evil and the power of good. His charictures are fresh and inventive. His dialog is strong, interesting and truthful. His stories are original dispite being derivitive of other films which sounds like a contradiction but in this particular case is not. And his films are exciting, mersmerizing and above all entertaining though definately meant for an R rated crowd. What else can I say about Quentin Tarantino, the man is a genius and one of the best filmmakers of our, or any other generation.
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#3 Rik Andino

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 03:17 AM

...and then when you look at some interviews it seems he is like a kid that gets exited making violent movies


You've got it right there...
Quentin loves trying to recreate the violent movies he watched as a kid
He's a truly dedicated cinephile and that's why he makes really great films.

The funny thing is intellectuals try to decipher his films into something deeper (as most intellectuals try to do Making some sort of sense of the senseless---I know it's ridiculous)
And they usually miss the point and get confused (like you did).
It' really simple, his films are just a really great violent homage to 70's cinema.

Look at Natural Born Killers (Tarantino wrote it, Stone directed it.)
It seems to be a movie condemning America's violent society--but in fact it glorifies it...
In the end it's just a funky drug-addled ride through crazy voilent behavior.
You're not supposed to overthink--they're just movies man.

Quentin is just a fine example of the saturday morning cartoons/weekend movie matinee generation
That's why most of us love him.
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#4 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 04:51 AM

That's an interesting perspecitve. Maybe I'm really trying hard to understand it.
But still it seems so different than usual violence-pleasure movies, like your typical corny action movies.
Sometimes the whole thing goes so far that it feels like a mockery of something, but I don't quite understand what.

The reason why I ask myself so many question about his films is that there are no typical good guys in his movies, but they are not judged either. It's more like every character is twisted in a funny way, everyone is absurd, irrational, and comic in a way. And they all play this big game of violence.

So its pretty obvious that Quentin is not the kind of guy that would make corny hero vs. bad guys violent movies (which is naive). He is so NOT naive. There are no heroes, and at the same time you care for nobody, and you can feel sorry for everybody. Which is pretty much how life is. There are no real sides, everyone sort of has their own tragedy and can be seen as a vilain or a victim.
So that's one of the things I like about his films.


The other thing, which I like specially in Pulp Fiction is how characters don't have any cinematic significance in their dialogue. They just keep talking about the most common things, even absurd things. Like which hambuergers are better, or how they serve fries in Europe. It really is ridiculous, but its realistic. That's how people talk, they are full of crap, they have a lot to say but in their whole lives they say little that actually means something.

It's like a documentary following violent people which has nothing to say as a punch-line. More like, you make of it whatever you want.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:01 AM

Look at Natural Born Killers (Tarantino wrote it, Stone directed it.)
It seems to be a movie condemning America's violent society--but in fact it glorifies it...
In the end it's just a funky drug-addled ride through crazy voilent behavior.


I thought it was a fairly straightforward film about the way that the media glorifies serial killers etc. It seems preety explicit about that, but you are right theres no big complicated conceptual thing from what I can tell. Just taking the mickey out of the media. :)

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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:07 AM

Let's discuss cinematography a bit..

From what I've seen he seems to like high contrast images and blown out highlights
Now I haven't seen Pulp Fiction in cinema, but that's how it looks on DVD and TV (its the same transfer) , now is that just an older transfer or did the film really look like that in cinema?
If yes, then was it push processed or something like that?

I've also read somewhere that the entire movie was shot in super16 on 7245, is that true?

Did he ever say why? (to cut down the grain, or for some other reason?)
I imagine with filtering it would have been a pretty slow film under tungsten light (32 ISO?)
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#7 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:10 AM

He's original, creative and extremely talented in my opinion. Sometimes that dark, brutal side of his psyche worries me. I wonder what he'd be doing today if he weren't in the film industry..
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:23 AM

he is for the most part just a much better filmmaker than those low budget, blackploitation, Spaggetti western and kung fu filmmakers of that era. Even if you look at Reservior Dogs, his first film, dispite being a


It depends which films you are talking about of course. There are some amazing films from that era, as I'm sure Quinten would be keen to tell you.

low budget movie, it doesn't look like a low budget film. It's slick and masterfully done. His plots are engaging and much better written than his predecessors in this genra with possibly the exception of Gordon Park's Shaft and Segio Lenoe's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


Well a lot of those other films were probably made for less than 1.5milliom dollars. However I'm always mystified when people say "doesn't look like a low budget film" because I'm not very sure what a low budget film is supposed to look like! There are all kinds of films made on low budgets. Some of them lower than others.

in straight comedy (1941). Tarantino has suceeded in every film he has made to date but his list of films is conciderible shorter than Spielberg's, one reason being he is conciderible younger the Steven. I don't know how well he'll fare once he moves out of this stage of his filmmking but my guess is he'll have a flop or two because people won't accept a Tarantino movie that doesn't have violence, but then do something brillant and completely unexpected that will change people's perception of him.


Jackie Brown. Although personally I thought it was one of his better films.

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The other thing, which I like specially in Pulp Fiction is how characters don't have any cinematic significance in their dialogue. They just keep talking about the most common things, even absurd things. Like which hambuergers are better, or how they serve fries in Europe. It really is ridiculous, but its realistic. That's how people talk, they are full of crap, they have a lot to say but in their whole lives they say little that actually means something.


That's a really interesting viewpoint. How can you be sure that people have a lot to say? Maybe they are vaccuous on the inside too! I'm never sure if it is just that people struggle to say things, are scared to say anything too complicated or controversial, or maybe that they really are expressing themselves quite clearly and that is all there is.

*shrug*

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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:33 AM

I've also read somewhere that the entire movie was shot in super16 on 7245, is that true?

Did he ever say why? (to cut down the grain, or for some other reason?)
I imagine with filtering it would have been a pretty slow film under tungsten light (32 ISO?)


Pulp Fiction was shot on 35mm, by Andrzej Sekula, who also shot Reservoir Dogs. 5245 is Sekula's favorite stock, and he apparently would use it all the time, even for night interiors.

I worked with a sound recordist a few years back who had worked on Hackers. He remembered both cast & crew complaining about the heat from the huge amount of light that Sekula was using in order to shoot on 50D stock.
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#10 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:45 AM

How can you be sure that people have a lot to say


No, you misunderstood me. I mean they talk a lot (they have a lot of words to say)


Pulp Fiction was shot on 35mm


In that case it's ready for a brand new transfer. It looks very soft, like a de-grained 16mm transfer
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#11 Steve Wallace

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 01:40 PM

Jackie Brown. Although personally I thought it was one of his better films.

I agree totally, and it was his least violent film to date...

I think he is smart, and a gifted filmmaker. I believe his films should be read as political, due to their critique on violence (especially in the media), even if he didn't intend it in this way. Also, to a lesser extent I think all of his movies are comedies, because of the absurdity. Almost existensial.

Philip,
Part of the throwback to the 70's in America Cinema was the blending of genres. The fact that you think they are funny at times, distubing at times, and introspective at times, means that you DO get it. I agree with the previous poster, you are just trying to look to deeply into the psychology.

It could be an Americano-cinephile thing too.
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#12 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 04:43 PM

Q.T. is totally American. Looks outward for style while his stories are focused inward, at America. I also have to say that he is the homage king!!! Almost every time I review a film of his, something pops up as a wink-wink that was never noticed before. That kind of takes me out of it but at the end of the day Q.T. makes these movies for himself. These are stories told the way he would want to watch them in. Just like a kid.... :P I'm very happy he's American.
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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 04:45 PM

It depends which films you are talking about of course. There are some amazing films from that era, as I'm sure Quinten would be keen to tell you.
Well a lot of those other films were probably made for less than 1.5milliom dollars. However I'm always mystified when people say "doesn't look like a low budget film" because I'm not very sure what a low budget film is supposed to look like! There are all kinds of films made on low budgets. Some of them lower than others.
Jackie Brown. Although personally I thought it was one of his better films.

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That's a really interesting viewpoint. How can you be sure that people have a lot to say? Maybe they are vaccuous on the inside too! I'm never sure if it is just that people struggle to say things, are scared to say anything too complicated or controversial, or maybe that they really are expressing themselves quite clearly and that is all there is.

*shrug*

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Well, I did mention some films that I thought were on a par with Tarantino, athough to be hanest, not really. Tarantino is much slicker in the way his films are made. Not the originals were plowing new ground so they didn't have the beifit of hiensight. Tarantino was able to build on their work and that's really the reason his films are so much slicker than theirs.

The thing about Tarantino not looking low budget is there are no ameture moments in his films, even in Reservior Dogs. That's what I mean by "It doesn't look like a low budget film" There were no mistakes in composition, story, editing, production design, sound design, script, acting or costumes.This film will stand up against any of his later films. It's like Cameron's Terminator, it's flawless. That can't be said for many first time or low budget films. Many people settle for second best just to get their film make, Tarantino used every dollar to it's fullest. Another thing, he doesn't do things he can't afford to do well. The robbery is never shown, only the aftermath. This is the thing I admire about M. Night Shymalan. He lets the audiance image the expensive stuff and consitraites on a simple story. There are a lot of 1.5 mil films out there that look like poop because they simply didn't have the natural talent Tarantino has. The film looks like it cost a lot more and is filled with incredeble preformances and moments.

I'm trying to remmember, it's been a while sence I saw Jackie Brown. but If I'm not mistaken, there was a fair amount of violence in Jackie brown, just not the Kill Bill level of violence. I mainly remamber The scene with De Niro and Briget Fonda. GRRRRRR!

I would also say there the charactures in Natural Born Killers are complex in a sckewed sort of way. That's what makes the script interesting. It doesn't just stand up on a soap box and shout out "THIS IS WRONG" ! It explores these people and draws the audiance into their world. That's why it transends the message movie and is not as straight forward as it seems. We are made to realize with out the market for this sort of thing these people won't be celebraties.

Edited by Capt.Video, 25 March 2006 - 04:49 PM.

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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 05:41 PM

The thing about Tarantino not looking low budget is there are no ameture moments in his films, even in Reservior Dogs. That's what I mean by "It doesn't look like a low budget film" There were no mistakes in composition, story, editing, production design, sound design, script, acting or costumes.This film will stand up against any of his later films. It's like Cameron's Terminator, it's flawless. That can't be said for many first time or low budget films. Many people settle for second best just to get their film make, Tarantino used every
dollar to it's fullest. Another thing, he doesn't do things he can't afford to do well. The robbery is never shown, only the aftermath. This is the thing I admire about M. Night Shymalan. He lets the audiance image the expensive stuff and consitraites on a simple story. There are a lot of 1.5 mil films out there that look like poop because they simply didn't have the natural talent Tarantino has. The film looks like it cost a lot more and is filled with incredeble preformances and moments.


I'm not sure this is limited to low budget films however, there are a whole lot of terrible films that cost a scary amount of money to make. It's just hard to make good films generally, which probably makes Quentin even more talented in that sense.

I'm trying to remmember, it's been a while sence I saw Jackie Brown. but If I'm not mistaken, there was a fair amount of violence in Jackie brown, just not the Kill Bill level of violence. I mainly remamber The scene with De Niro and Briget Fonda. GRRRRRR!


GRRRRR! :) :)

It was definitely less about the violence but you are right it's not like there wasn't any, it's a little different to his other films tho, but what I meant was that Jackie Brown wasn't a big comercial success like his other films. :(

I would also say there the charactures in Natural Born Killers are complex in a sckewed sort of way. That's what makes the script interesting. It doesn't just stand up on a soap box and shout out "THIS IS WRONG" ! It explores these people and draws the audiance into their world. That's why it transends the message movie and is not as straight forward as it seems. We are made to realize with out the market for this sort of thing these people won't be celebraties.



Definitely the fact it draws the audience into their world is the really important part because the film is being critical about the glorification of serial killers in the media but hey what was that movie you are watching again? :) So maybe not really deep or complicated but a little bit clever, because it's kind of one of those mindless movies that you can just float along on a journey with, but then at the end when you have seen it all and are agreeing with it's message, it's catching you red handed at the same time. :)

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A sneaky look at Quentins first feature. Shame he never finished it:



Strangely he reminds me of Jack Black in this film. :)
I guess they both have personality and a bit of charisma! :)


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Edited by Freya, 25 March 2006 - 05:34 PM.

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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 06:38 PM

In that case it's ready for a brand new transfer. It looks very soft, like a de-grained 16mm transfer


I have the recent 2 disc DVD release. Nothing wrong with the transfer at all, very sharp indeed.
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#16 Filip Plesha

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 07:28 PM

I have the recent 2 disc DVD release. Nothing wrong with the transfer at all, very sharp indeed.


yes, well , I seem to have an older one, the first DVD transfer.
I kind of looks cool, blow out highlights, soft, higher contrast, some color cast, like a student film.

But of course there is no excuse why I should stick with it. I guess I'll have to buy a newer version one day
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#17 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 04:48 PM

Having a Tarantino fixation is such a wannabe moviemaker cliche, but I have to confess. I love the guy. He has so many talents it's scary. I can't think of another director whose first four films are such classics, although I'd say Kill Bill is the weakest of the bunch, as much as I like it. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up. That's got to be a lot of pressure. As far as I'm concerned, he's already matched Spielberg, who has directed a number of great movies, but only four fantastic ones -- Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and maybe Schindler's List. Even Spielberg's lesser movies are pretty impressive though, so I don't want to seem like I'm slagging the guy. Sugarland Express would have been the highlight of just anybody else's career.
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#18 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 11:56 PM

MAYBE Schindler's List is a fantastic film? What exactly do you concider fantastic? How about Jerassic Park? How about the Color Purple? How about the Terminal? How about Close Encounters of the Third Kind? How about Munich? How about Saving Private Ryan. How about Empire Of the Sun. How about Duel for Christs sake. I know you said you wheren't trying to "Slag" the guy but DUDE come on!

Tarantino, although great, IS NO Speilberg, at least not at this point. If fact, there are no other Spielbergs except for maybe Ron Howard, and even he is WAY behind Speilberg. Even the god of filmmakers, Kubrick, never achieved this kind of resume". Hitchcock and Cassevetties both made several great film but no where near the deveristy of subject matter that Sielberg has done. Speilberg is the best filmmaker that has ever lived to date, bar none. The work speaks for it's self.
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#19 Marco Leavitt

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

Well, I did say he has made a number of other great movies, although I'm not as enthusiastic about most of the one's you mention as you seem to be, especially "Jurassic Park." That movie stinks. "Saving Private Ryan" is a pretty minor war movie as well.
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#20 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 01:20 PM

Jurassic Park Stinks? The first movie to fully intagrate live action with computer animation and won 3 Academy Awards, stinks? Ok. and "Saving Private Ryan" is a pretty minor war movie as well? The movie that veterans of the Normandy invasions themselves, say is the most realist war film ever made is a"Minor" war film? A movie that won 51 prestigous film awards including 5 Oscars, is a "Minor" war film? What exactly do you concider a MAJOR war film? There's no accounting for taste but come on, let's at least get into the realm of reality here. These are ground breaking films that deserve every award they won and even if you don't personally like them You cannot denigh their importance. Siriously If you can't see the contribution to the cinematic art these films half made, I really don't know what to tell you.
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